Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy for real-time nuclear forensics

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Proceedings title40th Annual Final SciX Program
ConferenceFACSS/SciX The Great Scientific Exchange, Milwaukee, USA, Sept. 29 - Oct. 4, 2013
AbstractThe International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has the mandate to safeguard the use of uranium, plutonium and thorium worldwide, as nuclear fuel for civil uses, avoiding their diversion use in weapons of mass destruction or explosive devices. Terrorist and proliferation activists are employing more sophisticated means than those used in the past to achieve their objectives. Border security services, first responders and regulators need to adapt to this challenge and to seek technologies that can provide quick and accurate information, in order to prevent clandestine activities or initiate rapid responses to them. Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique has several advantages, the most relevant are real-time measurement, contact with the sample is not necessary, and analysis can be made at a distance avoiding contamination by radioactive materials. LIBS and different combination of chemometric techniques were integrated in a portable autonomous system that can perform real-time measurement. In addition, this portable LIBS instrument can be operated by a person that does not required an extensive knowledge of neither spectroscopy nor chemometrics. The present paper describes different applications that are or in the integration process in the portable LIBS unit. In particular, the possibility of analyzing isotope ratio using LIBS, assessment of yellow cake origin as well as discriminating the different compounds found in the uranium ore refining process. The performance obtained with such a LIBS sensor will be discussed for nuclear forensics. The results obtained with the transportable LIBS unit clearly show the usefulness of this approach for real-time onsite nuclear forensics.
Publication date
PublisherThe Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; Energy, Mining and Environment
Peer reviewedNo
NRC numberNRC-EME-55622
NPARC number21268950
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Record identifier611cad02-13aa-4fb2-9d8d-cb992dc09070
Record created2013-11-27
Record modified2016-05-09
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